I don’t fit in.
Anywhere. Not on earth, anyway.
Most of the time, I’m fine, just coasting along, doing my daily tasks with joy. Enjoying conversations with friends. Soaking in the water of the Word when I can. Being truly content with everyone and everything God has given me. Just living, loving, laughing, and trying to make a difference now and then.
Sometimes, it dawns on me that there are still popular people out there. More specifically, people who are more popular than me.
And, it stings. It makes me wonder why I don’t have so many smiling faces surrounding me, competing to be within my sphere of attention. Is there something wrong with me? Do I just annoy people with my excessive talking and intermittent revelations of my tendency to know everything? (That was only half-sarcastic. *wink*)
When I turn my eyes in, and look inside myself, I begin questioning all my friendships. Do they really like me, or are they just being nice? Why are all my efforts at contact outside of certain circles ignored or treated with veiled contempt?
Ultimately, though, it does not matter who likes me and who doesn’t. Why can’t I get that through my head? Why am I always questioning the motives of people who barely know me? Why can’t I just be happy with the amazing close circle of friends God has blessed me with? Why do I still struggle with anxieties about my peers when that should have stopped somewhere around the ninth grade?
Because I am ridiculous. I am prideful. It only takes one little unintentional barb, and my emotions are in turmoil. I go into full-blown “pout mode.”
It seems I have forgotten this:
“O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.
You hem me in–behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake, I am still with you.
If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord,
and abhor those who rise up against you?
I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.”
~ Psalm 139 (NIV)
If God himself not only knows who and what I am, down to the very substance of my being, and loves me anyway, then why on earth do I give a rat’s rear end what other people think of me?
It all comes down to pride.
My pride gets in the way so easily.
Yet, I serve a God who knows what it is to struggle and strive to do what is right. He knows what it means to push down his pride, and ask God to pour humility into him. So, that is what I need to do tonight.
“He must become greater; I must become less.” ~ John 3:30 (NIV)
That is all there is to it.